Max Verstappen won the 2022 Formula one drivers’ championship at a canter. The double world champion smashed a number of records along the way including the most race wins in a season and was second only in his winning margin to Sebastian Vettel’s title winning year of 2013.
Red Bull have signed Verstappen up on a long term contract due to expire at the end of the 2028 season, by then the Dutch driver may well have taken a string of other F1 records along the way.
F1 six way title battle for 2023?
Recent comments by Toto Wolff would suggest Mercedes believe they are 8-10 months behind Red Bull in terms of car development so it may be another long haul for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in 2023.
Verstappen’s closest rival believes Ferrari will be closer to Red Bull next year. “I think we are all prepared for longer seasons. I hope it will be tight, he said in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s always nice to have a fight until the end. But yeah, I’m prepared for more races and for a longer fight, hopefully.”
Verstappen titles ‘chalk and cheese’
Max Verstappen’s two title winning years could not have been more different. In 2021 he clinched victory at turn 5 on the last lap of the last race then the following year was champion with 4 race weekends remaining.
Max was asked whether he was prepared for a season ore akin to his first title win with a close battle for the 2023 title again going down to the wire.
“I mean, I think we’re all racers and we love racing. Of course, it’s just that it’s nice to have a season like I had last year but it’s also nice to have a season like I have this year,” he replied.
“It just would be very tough if you have that every single year you know, the year I had last year but that also doesn’t really happen in Formula 1 so it should be okay.”
“If you’re not prepared, then it’s better to stop already, right?
Max retirement ultimatums
Clearly Verstappen will not ‘stop’ or retire in 2023, though the Dutchman has issued retirement ultimatums when regularly asked about what he wishes to achieve in the sport.
Speaking to Sky in Abu Dhabi Verstappen revealed, “F1 is amazing and I’ve achieved a lot, and I’m very happy and proud about it…
“but it’s a lot of traveling and it’s a lot of races. And at one point, what is more important? Is family more important, or is F1 more important? That’s when you need to make your mind up,” Max concluded.
Looking forward the Red Bull driver believes there will be a number of new challenges for the next F1 season.
“We know over the winter, we really have to keep pushing and keep trying to find performance and not only performance, understanding, possibly the tires even more because the tires will change a bit for next year.”
New Pirelli tyres may suit Verstappen even more
Pirelli are redesigning the new 18 inch tyres first seen in F1 this season. The teas have complained of a lack of front end grip and too much understeer so the Italian company are aiming to respond to these issues.
For Max competitors new tyres which assist oversteer more are a double edged sword. While all the new ‘ground effect’ F1 cars will benefit from Pirelli’s new objectives, oversteer is Verstappen’s favoured way of setting up the car to rotate in the corners.
How much faster could this make the already flying Dutchman.
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